Final details set for big fireworks show at new location

Madison Festivals: Water can be brought in, Water Wagon will be available
Final details set for big fireworks show at new location

Madison’s largest fireworks display, Rhythm and Booms, is just two days away and organizers are busy making sure all the details are worked out and things go smoothly for spectators.

For the first time this event will be held on Lake Monona, and John Nolen Drive will be closed off.

“We think we are as prepared as we can be for the first time event,” Madison police Lt. Dave McGaw said.

McGaw said John Nolen Drive will provide more space and better access points for the event that used to be held on the north side at Warner Park.

“For the exit plan, we are long and narrow here instead of one big clump and we have major road ways we are going to be relying on,” McGaw said.

Event organizers aren’t worried about parking saying there are approximately 6,000-7,000 spaces in public and private parking lots around Lake Monona and an additional 6,000 at the Alliant Energy Center.

“Rest assure there will be people from the police department, sheriff’s department and Wisconsin State Patrol out helping people both coming and leaving with their traffic needs. We are just urging people to remain patient,” McGaw said.

The issue of water and carry-ins has been a big topic, but officials with Madison Festivals said water can be brought in, and there will be a water wagon. But they ask attendees to remember that since Madison Festivals is a nonprofit organization, the event is also a fundraiser.

“We are asking people support the beverage sales because that is where our income comes from to pay the bands, to pay the police,” said Rita Kelliher, president of Madison Festivals.

‘We raise money for local charities and nonprofits as a part of our mission and Madison Festivals has $50,000 budgeted to donate to all the local charities who are supplying volunteers for this event,” Kelliher said.

There will also be plenty of options for parks along Lake Monona, but according to Laura Witmore of the Madison Parks Department, there are some key rules to remember for all parks.

“No dogs, no grilling, no fireworks or no glass containers can be at any of the parks,” Witmore said.

Organizers said those watching the show from a boat won’t be able to dock until 10:30 p.m. to reduce issues with pedestrians walking.

Anyone interested in helping clean up can go to any park along Lake Monona at 9 a.m. on Sunday to help.